Car Review: Mercedes - McLaren SLR  Series 07 (3 stars)

Average. One of the fastest and most exclusive cars on the planet, the SLR offers astonishing performance, but suffers from awkward design, uninvolving handling and a ludicrous pricetag.

Launched at almost the same time as the Porsche Carrera GT and the Ferrari Enzo and aimed at similarly mega-rich customers, the McLaren-Mercedes SLR has managed to out-live both its contemporaries.

But the SLR has never enjoyed the critical success that the Porsche and Ferrari gathered, and although it is still among the very fastest production cars on the planet (capable of shattering 0-60 mph in under four seconds and going onto a genuine 200 mph top speed), it has struggled to gain acceptance as a true supercar.

But if you think of the McLaren as an extremely rapid grand tourer, it makes considerably more sense. Unlike other hyper-cars, the combination of a front-mounted engine and an automatic gearbox make it relatively easy to drive very quickly. It's also comfortable and refined compared to its apparently concrete-sprung rivals, while it also features a semblance of luggage space.

It's just unfortunate that the rest of the driving experience is unable to match the drama afforded by the sheer straight-line speed. The steering is over-keen and - although massive - the chassis's grip levels are not to be exceeded by anyone but the very brave or very well insured. Great though parts of the McLaren experience are, it never quite delivers as a driver's car.Purchase and running costs are predictably massive - only the very wealthiest should even consider applying.

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Mercedes McLaren SLR Series 07 StatisticsCar Reviews

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